It was April 2009 and he was on a pilgrimage and close to his birth place in Italy, but because he left for Canada when he was only four years old he really didn’t remember very much at all. Perhaps the cemetery off to the right was there back in 1950 when his parents left to settle in Canada, but he didn’t recognize it now some 60 years later. It was so immaculate in its layout he decided to pay a short visit. Approaching the gate entrance the sign announced it was a Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery. On entry, he respectfully approached the first headstone which read, “Pte. Ted Truskoski, 17, Canada.” Seventeen! He thought perhaps such a young age for a soldier was highly unusual—until he walked along row after row of Canadians killed in the Battle of Ortona over the Christmas period in 1943 and realized many, too many, including a 16-year-old soldier from Prince Edward Island, were high school aged. It was only a year later that he was told that Ted had actually lied about his age and that he too was only 16 when killed.
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